Introduction: Archery Target - Duct Tape & Re-used Materials

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Archery - The sport or skill of shooting with a bow and arrow, especially at a target.

Archery Target For A 70lb Compound Bow

Over the past few years I have developed a passion for Archery. I have made bows, I have bought bows, and I find a certain calmness about shooting arrows at targets. I have also hunted with bows and its far from calm when you have been sitting in a tree stand for 5 hours and a deer walks out. Your heart is racing and you have to try as best as you can to focus and make the perfect shot.

Whether you are hunting or if you are just passing some time with a fun hobby archery is a wonderful sport and requires A LOT of practice. Naturally to practice with a bow and arrow you need to shoot, have something to shoot at,, and that something has to be in a safe location. Your target has to be strong and durable to withstand multiple arrow shots. Large enough to limit the number of misses and versatile to allow for different types of shooting distances and locations. It also cant damage your arrows creating an unsafe situation.

There are many different types of store bought targets that are great but they are NOT cheap. Most good quality targets range from $60-125 (Canadian) and if you get into animal targets you're looking in the $100-300+ range.

In this instructable I will go through the steps to make an excellent archery target that can handle a 70lb Compound Bow with simple materials like cardboard, DUCT-TAPE and stuffer material and for only about $12 in Duct Tape

Materials Needed

  • Duct Tape - in a few different colours I used Black Grey and Red
  • Cardboard Box - anything with a large square front, Even if its to deep you can cut it and tape it back together like I did, shown in the pictures
  • 2 Pieces of wood - these will go in the top and bottom of the target giving the target more weight and stability so it doesn't fall over every time an arrow hits it.
  • Rope - this will create a handle to easily carry and transport the target to your safe shooting location.
  • Plastic wrap - I got mine from the LCBO I asked if they had extra plastic wrap and they brought me out a huge bag totally free. Any place that wraps their skids or receives skids wrapped will have a ton of this stuff and will give it to you for free.

Tools Needed

  • Box Cutter Knife
  • Drill and a 1/2" hole cutter bit and 1/4" drill bit
  • Something to cut scrap wood to shape,

Step 1: Target Shape & Size

To start the target making process you'll need a box. The box I started with was a bit too deep so I cut it and then taped it together to make the finished target easy to carry while making sure its sturdy. My finished dimensions were around 20" x 20" by 8-10" deep. This allows for stability and strength while keeping the target easily transportable

Step 1 - Find a box that has a fairly square front/back and cut it to your desired dimensions. A target that is 20" x 20" is plenty and you'll want a depth of at least 8" - 10" to have proper arrow stopping power.

***Tip - This target will work with a Crossbow as well but I would suggest having a thicker target around 15" deep. For Compound Bows anything less then 8" deep you run the risk of an arrow going directly through the target or every time you shoot the target it falls over which would be very annoying. You could ask someone to hold it but lets hope you have a really good shot ;) "***

Step 2: Structural Tape & Filling

Before you start adding the plastic wrap to the target shell you'll want to find some scrap wood or cut some wood to fit inside the bottom and top of the box. The wood will act as a weight and also add stability and a flat bottom for the finished target to sit on.

When you start to fill the target you have to really compress the plastic wrap but compressing the plastic wrap will "bow" the sides of the box slightly. The wood piece you have placed in the bottom will prevent the bottom from bowing out but to give the sides of the target some strength you must tape the box with what I call a structural first tape.

Step 1 - cut two pieces of wood, 1 for the bottom, 1 for the top.

Step 2 - Place 1 piece of wood into the empty box

Step 3 - With which ever type of duct tape you have the most of or what ever colour you would like to have on the sides of your finished target tape the entire target with a structural layer of duct tape.

Step 4 - Fill the box with plastic wrap, pack the plastic wrap as tightly as possible. Continue to add and compress the plastic wrap until its over flowing the top of the target

Step 3: Creating the Handle

Almost all store bought targets have a handle, it allows you to easily carry your target and stops you from having to bear-hug it to move it. The handle also makes the finished target look great and more professional

Step 1 - Grab a drill and the other piece of wood. Place your hand on the piece of wood in the middle and mark 2 spots about 1" out from your hand to get an idea of how far apart the holes should be. Mark and then using a 1/4 drill bit drill through the wood.

Step 2 - Flip the wood over and now with a 1/2" drill bit, drill halfway into the wood from the underside. This will allow the knots in the handle rope to sink inside the wood slightly.

Step 3 - Mark the top box flap to match the holes in the wood. feed the rope through the wood handle then through the box flap. Make sure you have enough rope to easily grip the handle, then feed the rope through the other hole in the cardboard box then the wood, secure both sides with a knot, cut off excess rope.

Step 4 - Firmly pres down top flap and secure with Duct Tape.

Step 5 - Add another layer of Duct Tape to the entire box making sure to reinforce the top and bottom.

Step 4: Finishing Tape and Targets

This part is pretty simple. With the other colours of Duct Tape you have you can make the target multi-functional by creating specific targets with-in the main target. This gives you options to aim at when shooting. I used a black front of the target with red accents that can be seen easily from up to 70 yards.

Step 1 - Using black Duct Tape, tape the front of the target making sure to secure the tape around the edges

Step 2 - With red Duct Tape place on some painters tape and cut out circles about 3" in diameter. Peel off the painters taps and secure to the front of the target as shown in the pictures. you should make 4- 3" circles and 1- 4" center circle with an outer ring.

Step 3 - With white Duct Tape add different styles of targets to the sides and back.

***Tip - adding different targets to the sides and back of your target will allow you some versatility in shooting. you can easily rotate the target to different angles to make harder shots or just different types of shots.***

Step 5: Let's Go Shooting !!!!!

Now your target is ready to shoot so go have fun!!

This project took me about 1 hour to make and its given me many hours of shooting fun. For $12 bucks in duct tape it would be silly not to at least try this before you go buy a store bought target

Target Specs

Penetration depth

Compound Bow 70 lb

  1. 20 yrds - 8-12" into target
  2. 30 yrds - 6-8" into target
  3. 40 yrds - 4-8" into target

Re-curve Bow 32 lb (homemade)

  1. 20 yrds - 6-8" into target
  2. 30 yrds - 4-6" into target
  3. 40 yrds - 2-4" into target

Absolutely no damage to arrows and NO arrows have gone through

I have shot this target about 100 times and its still holding up amazingly

If your target gets to many arrow holes add a layer of Duct Tape and its back to new.


  • Always make sure you have some sort of back drop just in-case you miss
  • Never shoot with someone down range
  • Always make sure your arrows are in good condition
  • Don't shoot a compound bow with-in city limits as its classified as a firearm in Canada
  • If your target has developed holes re-tape with a few layers of Duct Tape.
Duct Tape Challenge 2017

Runner Up in the
Duct Tape Challenge 2017

Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017